The Holidays are Better Here: St. Joe 2012

By Eric Olson

December 13, 2012 Updated Dec 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM EDT

ST. JOE, Indiana--They’re on a mission of mercy at St. Joe’s Riverdale Elementary School, collecting food for friends and neighbors who might not have enough to go around this holiday season.

The annual student food drive is something of a new tradition at Riverdale Elementary. This year the school has partnered with local Cub Scout Troop 3568. Each day the kids go classroom to classroom, collecting the largess brought in that day by the students. But this drive is more than a school project. It’s a learning experience for these children, who are discovering the value of offering a hand up to their neighbors.

“I know that other people are lucky to have people that are helping them get food if they can’t afford to go and get it,” says fourth grader Allison Ives.

“And to see the food actually go to right down the road to a food bank that’s here helping families in our area and our community,” says principal Brennen Kitchen, “I think it’s very powerful and very effective with the students.”

The food collected at Riverdale will come here, to the Coburn Corners Church of Christ’s food bank. Up to forty DeKalb County families are served by the good will these food donations represent, much of it coming from the kids at Riverdale.

“I think it’s a good lesson for them because they know that there’s other people with needs besides themselves,” says food bank director Barbara Goldsmith, “and it gives them some sense of excitement and fulfilling a need.”

And that’s a lesson about life here on planet earth that you just can’t get out of a textbook.

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